In relationships we receive love, encouragement and hope but we also may experience shame, rejection, betrayal, disappointment and conflict. Our relational struggles can be with a spouse or life partner, friend, or our boss. Broken trust can leave us feeling isolated and angry. Shame and rejection can shut us down. Disappointment can spiral into debilitating depression.

In the midst of relationship turmoil we may feel that we lack the skills to work through the conflict or feel stuck in an unsatisfying relationship loop from which we can’t escape. Your desire to take responsibility for your own issues has left you frustrated. You want your relationship to thrive but don’t know how to change the dynamics.

“In sessions at Real Life Counselling I became aware that I was not owning my limited effort in contact with others. With a more honest realization about my part, I am surprised that my relationships have actually improved!” – Alex, Found better relationships


Our society has some unhelpful relationship beliefs or myths.

There is a happily ever after!

We are all looking for the happily ever after whether that be in a spouse, friendship or workplace. The reality is every relationship has its struggles. In fact, it is a natural developmental phase for relationships to face periods of challenge and difficulty so that the people and the relationship may grow towards the next relationship level.

Yes, issues are deal breakers, but many are not. It is critically important to know yourself well enough to know the difference between the two. More importantly, it’s how we work through conflict that makes or breaks a relationship.

The next workplace or relationship will be better.

We believe that leaving an emotionally unhealthy partner, friendship or workplace will make everything fine. That is the case if your partner, friendship or workplace is overtly abusive. However, if you leave without changing your own relationship patterns you will end up back in another unhealthy relationship pattern, unless you learn to make different choices.

It is a fact that without intervention, relationship patterns repeat themselves. This includes patterns from one generation to the next, and from one chapter of your life to the next. Learn to change the cycle.

(A note of caution: if you are in a physically abusive relationship your life is in danger. If you are in Edmonton, Alberta, contact the “The Support Network” for resources to help you by dialling “211”. Outside of Edmonton but within Alberta you can contact The Support Network at 780-482-4636. Additionally within Alberta you can call the Distress Line at 780-482-4357. Other areas will have similar resources. If you are in immediate physical danger call “911”.)

“When we’re incomplete, we’re always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we’re still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on–series polygamy–until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.” – Tom Robbins


Sometimes we need to acquire new skills to listen like assertiveness. At other times we need to change our own unhealthy relationship patterns. Learn some new skills and a new perspective before you walk away. You will know it is time to leave a relationship, only after you have learned to fully show up in it first.

If you are contemplating marriage, Pre-Marriage counselling is an important tool. Through a detailed couples assessment we work together to identify your strengths and growth areas as a couple. Two 90-minute sessions is included in the Pre-marriage counselling package.

Improving your relationship skills and changing long term relating styles can bring you the relationship health you desire. Finding healing and change in your own life can significantly shift your current relationship helping the other person change too.


Contact me today for your free 15 minute consultation or to book your appointment.